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Poet. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill,
Feign'd Fortune to be thron'd: The base o'the mount
Is rank'd with all deserts, all kind of natures,
That labour on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states*: amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix'd,
One do I personate of lord Timon's frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory band wafts to her;
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.
Tis conceiv'd to scope,
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks
With one man beckon'd from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the steepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well express'd
In our condition.
Nay, sir, but hear me on:
All those which were his fellows but of late
(Some better than his value), on the moment
Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
Rain sacrificial whisperingst in his ear,
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Drink | the free air.
Ay, marry, what of these?
Poet. When Fortune, in her shift and change of
Spurus down her late-belov'd, all his dependants,
Which labour'd after him to the mountain's top,
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot. • Pain. 'Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of fortune
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To show lord Timon, that mean eyesg have seen
The foot above the head.
* To advance their conditions of life.
+ Whisperings of officious servility.
* Inhale. Si. e. Inferior spectators.
Trumpets sound. Enter Timon, attended ; the
Servant of Ventidius talking with him.
Imprison'd is he, say you? Ven. Sero. Ay, my good lord: five talents is his
His means most short, his creditors most strait:
Your honourable letter he desires
To those have shut him up; which falling to him,
Periods his comfort.
Noble Ventidius! Well;
I am not of that feather, to shake off
My friend when he must need me. I do know bim
A gentleman, that well deserves a help,
Which he shall have: I'll pay the debt, and free him.
Ven. Sero. Your lordship ever binds hini.
Tim. Commend me to him: I will send his ran.
And, being enfranchis'd, bid him come to me:
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after.-Fare you well.
Ven. Sero. All happiness to your honour !
Enter an old Athenian.
Old Ath. Lord Timon, hear me speak.
Freely, good father.
Old Ath. Thou hast a servant nam'd Lucilius.
Tim. I have so: What of him?
old Ath. Most noble Timon, call the man before
Tim. Attends he here, or not-Lucilius !
Luc. Here, at your lordship's service.
Old Ath. This fellow here, lord Timon, this thy
By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclin'd to thrift:
And my estate deserves an heir more rais'd,
Than one which holds a trencher.
Well; what further?
Old Ath. One only daughter have I, no kin else,
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o'the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost,
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I pr'ythee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.
The man is honest. Old Ath. Therefore he will be, Timon: His honesty rewards him in itself, It must not bear my daughter. Tim.
Does slie love him?
Old Ath. She is young, and apt:
Our own precedent passions do instruct us
What levity's in youth.
Tim. [To Lucilius.] Love you the maid?
Luc. Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.
Old Ath. If in her marriage my consent be missing,
I call the gods to witness, I will choose
Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
And dispossess her all.
How shall she be endow'd, If she be mated with an equal husband? Old Ath. Three talents, on the present; in future,
all. Tim. This gentleman of mine liath serv'd me long; To build his fortune, I will strain a little, For 'tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter: What you bestow, in him I'll counterpoise, And make him weigh with her. Old Ath.
Most noble lord, Pawn me to this your honour, she is his. Tim. My hand to thee; mine honour on my pro
Luc. Humbly I thank your lordsbip: Never may That state or fortune fall into my keeping, Which is not ow'd to you!
[Ereunt Lucilius and old Athenian. Poet. Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your
lordship! Tim. I thank you; you shall hear from me anon: Go not away. What have you there, my friend?
Pain. A piece of painting, which I do beseech
Your lordship to accept.
Painting is welcome.
The painting is almost the natural man; .
For since dishonour trafficks with man's nature,
He is but outside: These pencil'd figures are
Even such as they give out. I like your work;
And you shall find, I like it: wait attendance
Till you hear further from me.
The gods preserve you!
Tim. Well fare you, gentlemen : Give me your
We must needs dine together.-Sir, your jewel
Hath suffer'd under praise.
What, my lord? dispraise ?
Tim. A mere satiety of commendations.
If I should pay you for't as 'tis extoll’d,
It would unclewt me quite
My lord, 'tis rated
As those, which sell, would give : But you well
Things of like value, differing in the owners,
Are prized by their masters: believe't, dear lord,
You mend the jewel by wearing it.
Mer. No, my good lord; he speaks the common
tongue, Which all men speak with him.
• Pictures have no hypocrisy; they are what they profess to be.
+ To unclew a man, is to draw out the whole mass of his fortunes.
Tim. Look, who comes here. Will you be chid ?
Jew. We will bear, with your lordship.
He'll spare none.
Tim. Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!
Apem. Till I be gentle, stay for thy good morrow; When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest, Tim. Why dost thou call them knaves ? thou
know'st them not.
Apem. Are they not Athenians?
Apem. Then I repent not.
Jew. You know me, Apemantus.
Apem. Thou knowest, I do; I call'd thee by thy
Tim. Thou art proud, Apemantus.
Apem. Of nothing so much, as that I am not like Timon.
Tim. Whither art going?
Apem. To knock out an honest Athenian's brains.
Tim. That's a deed thou'lt die for.
Apem. Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.
Tim. How likest thou this picture, Apemantus ?
Apem. The best, for the innocence.
Tim. Wrought he not well that painted it?
Apem. He wrought better, that made the painter; and yet he's but a filthy piece of work.
Pain. You are a dog.
Apem. Thy mother's of my generation; What's she, if I be a dog?
Tim. Wilt dine with me, Apemantus ?
Apem. No; I eat not lords.
Tim. An thou should'st, thou'dst anger ladies.
Apem. O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.
Tim. That's a lascivious apprehension.
Apem, So thou apprehend'st it: Take it for thy labour.